View Full Version : Tanking the Battlegrounds

07-07-2008, 12:38 PM
Tanking the Battlegrounds

One thing that annoys me is the bad rap a full protection spec tank gets when it comes to PvP. While there is no argument that you are not going to be dealing out ballistic damage on the battlefield there is much more to winning a BG then just dealing out DPS. I have tried DPSing and found it quite boring actually. I use the SS build 17/3/41 and I find myself consistently in the top half of the raid when it comes to honorable kills. In fact I have on several occasions been number 1. This is what I strive for and it is the best indication of your over all performance as a tank on the battlefield.

Basically there are 3 modes of operation for the tank on the battlefield.

Flag bearer
Pain in the ass


One of the things a tank is well suited for is defending the flag or outpost. You will want to play BG as much as possible to gear yourself for the job. The current honor rewards will get you the Merciless Gladiator Battle set which is perfect for padding your resilience and adding considerable bite to your attacks. I gem it out with all +12 Stamina. The gladiators shield wall is excellent and I even use it for instance and raid tanking. Add Tough shield enchant for better SS. The weapons are excellent for PvP as well since speed is not such an issue and the DPS is much higher then Inuro’s Blade. There is also a Horde battle standard (I assume one for alliance as well) that gives you and everyone defending within 45 yards 15% more health for 2 minutes. This is usually plenty of time to hold off an assault. Don't forget Commanding shout now were up to 3000 extra health!

While defense can be the least exciting of the play options sometimes it is quite challenging. It is best to have hidden rouge or a healer assisting you as you will make great bait. Usually you will know when your defense is being challenged when you are sapped. I will go over battle strategies for tanking in BG when we get to section 3. Let’s suffice it to say that one on one you stand a fair chance of winning if you know how to fight your enemy.

Flag Bearer.

In WSG and EOTS there is a flag to be carried and as a tank you are well equipped for the job. I can typically get 3-5 carries per instance on EOTS with very little effort, WSG is a bit harder. The best thing you can do here is get some fast boots. You can single handedly win the game for your team with enough flag carries.

Pain in the ass:

This is the best part, going on the attack or defending what’s yours. Remember you are part of a TEAM. It is not your job in the team to DPS. Do you do that anywhere else? Nothing makes a hard hitting DPS team mate’s face light up like a timely Concussion Blow or a Disarm coupled with a Battle Shout. Get in there and swing away with your DPS and you will get honorable kills while they do all the work. This is the key to getting Honor; always put yourself in the middle of the fight. You have the armor and health use it. When you have a priest out there healing the enemy; make it personal. Stance dance some Pummel, Shield Bash and Concussion Blow. When done right you can keep one off the clock most of the time. While healers are down enemies die.

Here are some tips for dealing with the enemy:

These can be hard to fight as they will almost always be in Bear form dealing a higher level of DPS then you can. Additionally they will have almost as much armor as you have and in the well geared cases even more. Your best bet is to have help from a good DPS or a healer. If you’re on your own do the best you can and you might even win. I have yet to lose to a Moonkin though. I am not sure but I think Moonkins are somewhat lacking on the DPS end and you will simply out armor and health them. Keep them from casting spells and they are no match. As for Restoration I have never seen one in BG.

Remember you are part of a team and if you are after honorable kills go for the pet. A hunter without a pet is severely crippled and pets are generally an easy kill. Any DPS will love not having the pet around while he pummels the Hunter. Kill the pet then join the DPS and get honor points for both kills. If you are alone however go directly for the Hunter or he will kill you while the pet keeps you engaged. Basically the pet will be tanking you.

You have to sneak up on a mage and use intercept to stun him. Mages are squishy so even with low DPS you are a very serious problem if you can keep him stunned or from casting spells. If he sees you coming from a mile away you are as good as dead.

If you allow a paladin to heal you will lose period. They hit hard and have plate armor just like you. A paladin is a difficult fight but as long as he is engaged with you the team is better off.

I love going after priests. A tank on the battlefield is a priest’s worst nightmare as they can be shut down from healing completely. However if you have a shadow priest you are in the same position as a mage.

I really hate rouges that run around you in circles. Even worse when they are gnomes! Keep them hamstringed and disarmed. In this condition they are rendered practically useless and are and easy kill. Don’t get caught standing still, they can’t run circles around you if you are backing up. Another thing that works on the less talented rouges is to alternate directions as you pivot, this puts them directly in the line of fire twice per rotation. Smart rouges will not fall for this. Don't forget rend will keep them from stealthing! (Yea an actual use for it).

Hit every totem pole you see this will definitely piss them off drain their mana and cause them and or their team mates to have to deal with you. Shamans are also an easy kill even with your low DPS.

This is no different then a Hunter. Go for their demon in mass combat or directly for the warlock in single combat.

May the best man win and if your opponent is DPS you’re probably going to lose without a DPS or healer at your side. Try to keep him disarmed and use demoralizing shout. If your opponent is another tank then the odds are even.

Another point; you will get feared a lot so keep in berserker stance as much as possible and be ready to use berserker rage. I am an undead so I also have will of the forsaken but I recommend the medallion of honor as a back up resolution.

Do what ever you can to keep your rage up and your damage buffs as high as you can. I use adamantite sharpening stones and runes of shielding protection as well as Bear kabobs which add to your attack power. There are also many potions available as well. Your DPS is your weakest point on the battlefield so do as much as you can to get it up. One last thing to remeber, at 12K you are only 4 crits away from death and although it may seem like you are sometimes killed very quickly just be glad you dont have 2K like a squishy. One last thing and it is a good thing. Many serious DPSers will simply ignore you once they see your sword and board (they see you as no threat). Make them live to regret it !!!

Hope this helps…

07-07-2008, 12:54 PM
Probably one of the biggest ways to annoy melee is get your back against a wall, since then you are able to dodge, parry and block attacks. Noticed this has annoyed rogues trying to kill my warrior in world pvp to the point they give up and leave. Seems like a good way to annoy people via defending towers.

Actually from playing my lock I happen to love when a proper tank shows up for the AV meaning I can actually dps the generals, since I tend to run around in bgs as raid destruction.

Also your melee dps loves sunder debuffs on low armor targets since it is alot bigger damage increase.

07-07-2008, 02:01 PM
Good post! I have done BGs a few times on my warrior but as he's usually been my primary raider (or at least secondary) I've used my PvP time to gear alts like my mage and hunter.

Nothing says loving like fear bombing the flag or using it to break a choke point like the two towers at the top of the hill in AV. Your biggest enemies are forms of crowd control that stop you like being feared your self, blind, scattershot, etc. Getting to your target via intercept is important....close the gap quickly.

Spell reflect is full of win. It can be a little clunky and rage expensive but when you slap a fireball back at some punk mage, it feels really satisfying.

Damn...I may have to go do some PvP this evening on my tank :)

Muffin Man
07-08-2008, 01:48 AM
While you're on the subject of being a team player: intervene your squishies!

Especially those healers that are keeping the dps (and you) standing.

One of my best moments in AV was spearheading a push across the bridge to the alliance base with a bunch of healers at my back. No kidding, we got about 20 hk's and I never died in that giant melee.

Another trick I used was improved shield bash's silence procs whether or not they are casting when you hit them. I used it when I was getting paranoid about instance casts. Like if a mage is down to their last few ticks and you don't want them to blink away: 2 sec silence, 5 sec concussion, dead.

This is general to all warriors, but I've found the biggest annoyance is running ahead of the ranged/healers and spamstringing all their melee that tries to take them out.

07-08-2008, 09:16 AM
I think this is worth a sticky =]
But I'll move it to the pvp forums, since this is about BGs.

07-08-2008, 11:45 AM
A few comments on the matchups:

Don't intercept the mage first. Charge him, and keep your intercept up for whenever he tries to blink away from you.

Rogues: if you have a shield and you're wearing high armor and decent block value, their DPS is pretty negligable. Overpower is awesome, shield slam when you get behind them.

Warriors: Against an arms warrior, a prot warrior actually can do quite well. They hit slow, and your high armor+shield will rage starve them. Keep them demo shouted and thunderclapped, and stack sunders between shield slams (or if you're devastate-specced, you don't need to worry about sundering).

Gearing: get an autoblocker. Set a macro that will use it when you shield slam, and you'll be a much better PvPer because of it.

All fights: don't spam hamstring or other abilities, your rage generation will be lower (especially if you're not being hit). Save your rage for the right moment: shield slam when the target is stunned or you're behind them. VS casters: keep enough rage available that you can intercept/spell reflect/pummel/shield bash when the cooldowns are up. VS Melees: thunderclap and demo shout are the most important things to have up on them. Spend most of your fight in battle stance, only switching to defense when you're rooted or to disarm, and only switching to berserker to intercept.

07-10-2008, 12:11 PM
On gearing: you mentioned using some of the PvP gear. Do you feel it's better to use mostly tanking gear with a couple of PvP items to boost damage or mostly PvP gear with a few tanking items in order to increase survivability? Or maybe even PvE dps gear with PvP items?

I've only tried my DPS gear (leather = I get killed very easy), and my tanking gear (lawl damage). I didn't think about my tanking gear with the PvP items I do have as part of my DPS set.

Also, do you always go sword and board or do you find that it's better to dual wield sometimes?

07-14-2008, 02:14 PM
I renamed this thread and will be adding it to our PVP directory shortly.

As a matter of making sure it's stated, I disagree with the statement that a Prot Warrior vs. Arms Warrior is in favor of the Arms Warrior. I have the advantage of having always been at the edge of gearing, so I'm not sure how medium/undergeared Prot would fair against a well-geared Arms Warrior. However, equally geared and skilled Warriors, one in SBV gear, the other in BG/Arena gear, the Prot should win.

Very talented Rogues who time their CCs and cooldowns are the ones I can't reliably take.

07-28-2008, 02:02 PM
I used to duel the melee dps in my raids all the time. Never lost once. None of them even got me under half in pve gear. Pvp gear they can come closer.

Now keep in mind a pve rogue may have 8k hp instead of 12k or whatever and his extra damage is not enough to make up for your massive hp and anti-melee stats.

I would say if you must pvp as prot in pve gear then go after melee dps types for sure. You could fight other tanks but I had a 20 minute duel with the other main tank from my guild. When your shield block completely blocks the other tanks damage you're looking at hitting like 10% of the time vs 70%+ armor reduction. For even more fun both of you are going to intim shout and bandage to drag things out just a bit more. If you throw in say, Moroes trinket and the Commendation... well it takes a long long time for anyone to get anywhere.

07-28-2008, 03:56 PM
I have both T5/6 gear and full s3/4 set and have pvped as both arms and prot.

Prot does not work in high level arenas, don't even bother trying. Arms is far better.

Now prot is just fine for BGs as defense can and does win games. If you don't want to spend the 100g to respec for a night, you can still be very effective. I either run with half pvp/half tank gear to keep myself at 250 resiliance or I run full shield block value (around 850 shield block value) with just a pvp weapon and shield.

Shield block value set
The full shield block value will destroy opposing warriors and rogues 1v1 and does just fine against undergeared casters. 2h Melee simply can not get through the improved shield block for any meaningful hits while rogues will have a very difficult time generating combo points due to the high avoidance numbers. Make sure to put up imp demo shout and imp tclap to reduce the incoming damage. If you have improved revenge, it makes it even easier (but honestly isn't needed). Versus casters, devastate and shield slam in battle stance. You can shield bash and spell reflect from this stance and do better damage than defense. Shield slam crits on a sundered caster for 3600 with the battlegrounds buff and autoblocker make me laugh every time.

Half pvp/half defense gear:
Perfect for flag running. The goal in WSG is to cross the map as quickly as possible. With a couple healers, the fastest way across the map is as follows.
1) From battle stance, charge one of their first defense, use piercing howl if speced for it
2) switch to defensive stance and spam spell reflect/piercing howl/shield block/disarm/etc.
3) Have your healer run past you before starting healing, intervene to them,
4) Switch to beserker stance and intercept the defender closest to your tunnel.
5) Go to step 2
This also works ok for defending a flag but without help you can be cc'd or burned really fast.

07-31-2008, 02:24 PM
Well i used to be the master of Wsg getting all three runs with it in the 49 bracket but now prot in 70 brakcet isnt that good although three things ive noticed.
1. Ab you can be the one to stay behind at St or be alone at a flag and stay alive long enough for back up to arrive
2. Av you tank galv/drekk and do sucide runs into Rh and try and get horde to follow
3. Wsg u have the flag
4. Eots u have flag
5. For all u can shield bash the casters and use devatates to help fellow dps'ers
Btw the slicer and Bg shield is great i beat rouges sometimes if i use all the disarm stun effects and or dual wield and switch to a shield and D stance if trouble occurs and spam TC